Newswatch 16 Investigates: Overnight Spam Calls

MARION HEIGHTS, Pa. -- On an 86 degree afternoon in the Northumberland County community of Marion Heights the only sound is the hum of an air conditioner.

But two nights ago people like Teachers` Assistant Lynn Sarisky heard their phones ring overnight.

Her father down the block got a call just after midnight her phone rang at 2:06 a.m.

"Like beeping. And a lot of static, but nothing, when you said, `Hello,` there was no response.'," said Lynn Sarisky, Marion Heights.

Lynn Sarisky feared something happened to her dad who is 75 and is partially paralyzed.

She also feared for one of her two daughters who are in their 20`s and are now living on their own.

"The worst is not knowing who it is," said Sarisky.

"Is it a family member? Could they be hurt? And you wake up in a panic, and answer the phone," said Sarisky.

Viewers from just about every county tell Newswatch 16 of overnight calls with caller ID`s of unknown or unusual numbers with the last four digits of '0000.'

People in Marion Heights tell us that spam calls this week have been as common as American flags here a week after July Fourth.

The calls came in on cellphones and landlines on carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Consumer Cellular.

And according to the US Census Bureau, just 610 people live here.

"I saw a lot of my friends and even my other relatives that live in other areas, they got those same phone calls," said Sarisky.

A Verizon official issued this statement: "Verizon plans to do what it takes to protect our customers from these annoying calls. Verizon`s Wireless customers can automatically block robocalls for free using our `Call Filter` service that sends the blocked calls directly to voicemail."

AT&T has a similar feature titled, `Call Protect'.

But these measures cannot stop these annoying calls at any hour and Lynn Sarisky worries the spammers will call her father again.

"And to have them at night, its really a sad world," said Sarisky.

Talkback 16 Online Discussion:

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4 comments

  • Stephen Leibowitz

    A Verizon official issued this statement: “…Verizon`s Wireless customers can automatically block robocalls for free using our ‘Call Filter’ service…” That is misleading at best. From The Verge: “Unfortunately, Call Filter Free is completely unavailable to Verizon’s prepaid customers and is reserved for postpaid accounts only.”

  • Donna Fruet

    I was on the phone the other day with my sister and she got a beep from call waiting, It was some name we didn’t know but with my telephone number,how does this happen?

  • yabbadabbadude

    1. If you’re not on the National and State do-not-call list, get on one (I suggest both). You have to be on one for 31 days to be able to file a complaint.
    2. Call 1-888-382-1222. This is the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Not only can you get on the list, but you can also file a complaint with the F.T.C. by following the prompts on the menu. Make sure you keep all of the info from the phone call to be entered. The caller will be fined and the calls will stop.

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